The seaside town of Homer is maybe my favorite place in Alaska so far! It’s a small town on the southern tip of the Kenai Peninsual, and is full of fishing trips, art galleries, tasty cafes, and amazing scenery. This was my fourth trip to Alaska and my second trip to Homer!
Our home away from home this summer was once again the Land’s End Resort with a spectacular beachfront location at the tip of the Homer Spit on Kachemak Bay. We got a suite room (two bedrooms), had a terrific view of the bay so we could watch eagles, boats, and otters going by, enjoyed the spa/hot tub overlooking the bay, and enjoyed a delicious meal in the fancy restaurant. Highly recommend for any trip to Homer!
On our first trip to Homer we did beach hikes and hillside hikes, ate frequently at the Two Sisters Bakery, shopped at the awesome Homer farmers market, visited the Alaska Islands & Ocean Visitor Center, and more. Somehow we skipped all of the shops on the spit and sadly didn’t have time to go across the bay to Kachemak State Park. This time around we remedied that!
We did our part to support the local economy and spent some quality time on the spit. I’d been enjoying the art of Erik David Behnke and was delighted to find a studio run by his mother where I bought one of his prints. (Erik is a visual artist with Down Syndrome and autism and does wonderful, colorful, whimsical ink drawings). http://www.brownbearproducts.com
We also bought some sweet art from from an illustrator I really like. I already own a book of illustrations by Barbara Lavallee and was delighted to find the Sea Lion Fine Art Gallery in Homer had a number of prints by her. I added one to my collection and happily framed it for Clara’s room when we returned to Seattle. I also bought a pair of pearl earrings from a local jewelry maker who’s name/business is currently escaping me. Very pretty and happy making though! Continuing on our spit adventures and economy boosting, we did margaritas and happy hour snacks on the spit at Harbor Grill Steak & Seafood (overpriced with decent food, you go for the comfy setting and great views). We also ate a dinner of fish and clams and chips, with local Homer brew, at one of the many casual offerings. Good times!
We also booked with Mako’s Water Taxi (at the spit) to cross Kachemak Bay to hike around in Kachemak Bay State Park. We did the Glacier Lake Trail and had a terrific time. Super awesome to see glaciers calving right in front of you, and then return to the trail for gorgeous views across Kachemak Bay! (I was tempted to book a kayaking trip with www.akcoastalstudies.org, but decided with a one year old it wasn’t in the cards for this trip).
The Glacier Lake & Saddle Trails hike, however, was a terrific idea and Clara did just fine being carried around in the Ergo all day. David’s dad isn’t a huge fan of hiking and he definitely enjoyed the lovely route too. The Glacier Lake Trail follows flat terrain through stands of cottonwoods & spruce, and across the dry outwash plain of Grewingk Glacier. It ends at the broad open beaches of Grewingk Glacier Lake where giant chunks of glacier were calving off into the lake and floating across the icy waters. This trail offers superb views of the glacier and its surrounding peaks and was an excellent, easy dayhike for the whole family. Most people get dropped off at the Glacier Spit Trailhead, hike to the lake, hike the Saddle Trail, and get picked up at the Saddle Trailhead. Think we did about 6 miles total from where we were dropped on the beach, eventually getting to the trailhead, hiking to the lake, then across the saddle, to a different pickup location for our water taxi back across the bay. It was gorgeous – full of wildflowers, berries, bear poop, and scenic vistas! And it wasn’t too bad for bringing one non-hiker and for carrying a pretty patient one year old in the Ergo!
We did more hiking another day and enjoyed the beauty and wildflowers of the Wynn Nature Center. We didn’t manage to see any moose on our hikes, but did see a mama and baby moose on the side of the road as we were leaving the parking lot! So fun!
For a casual lunch while wandering town, we ate at Cosmic Kitchen. They had something for everyone’s diverse tastes and their fajita chicken cosmic bowl ($9) was so much food I couldn’t finish it all.
For a slightly fancier dinner, we ate at Fat Olive’s. The fondue appetizer ($13) was a wee bit over the top and much enjoyed by all. David and I split a shrimp pasta ($25) and a Mediterranean salad ($10) – both terrific. And while we probably should’ve cut ourselves off after that, the turtle pie was so amazing we shared it with the table and managed to polished it off too. Let’s hear it for vacations and indulgence!
Many thanks to the good people of Homer for welcoming us tourists with open arms! We continue to love your local foods, local roasted coffee, locally brewed beers, local arts, and local beauty!